This website may not display properly using your current browser version. Please consider updating to a supported browser to get the most out of the Metricon website.

View this website for more information about supported browsers

The ultimate guide to carpet types


Building your dream home brings so much excitement but when it comes to selecting different types of carpet, you have just one question…why are there so many choices?

Carpet types may look very similar (unless it's shag!), especially when all that jumps out at you are various shades of berber beige however, understanding the differences will help you to make the right choice for your home.

We’ve put together the ultimate guide to carpet types to make the selection process a little easier for you.

Where should carpet be installed?

Carpet types can be installed in most places in the home. You can opt for carpet in bedrooms, formal living room and activity rooms to bring comfort and warmth to such areas.

It’s an obvious no-no to have carpet installed in wet areas (even though some carpets are stain-resistant), such as bathrooms, ensuites, and toilets. You should also steer clear of carpet in main entrances to avoid wear and tear.

Carpeting can be installed on stairs and we recommend a carpet type that is rated for stairs to ensure that wear and tear isn't obvious in one particular area.

Some people like to have a different style or colour of carpet in certain areas of the home, such as the theatre room.

What is carpet made of?

Carpet types have evolved over time to include synthetic fibres, such as polypropylene, polyester, and nylon. Wool was traditionally used to produce carpet and there are also wool blends available. We will look at these materials further to help you in deciding on a carpet type:

  • Polypropylene carpet – this type of carpet also known as olefin, offers exceptional value for money and is the ideal entry-level choice, with investors often selecting this option as it is easy to clean.
  • Polyester and nylon carpet - both of these materials are more cost-effective than wool and are popular due to their hard-wearing nature and soil resistance making them the best carpet for accidents and high foot traffic.
  • Wool and wool blends – wool is great for pile retention, which is a bonus when you are moving furniture around and don’t want the dreaded look of furniture legs indented into your carpet. Wool is also the only material that is naturally flame retardant. It is generally considered a high-end carpet type and will, therefore, demand a higher price point. Wool blends are mixed with synthetic carpet fibers and offer durability and resilience. The mix of materials found in a wool blend is good for retaining definition in some twist styles, which can improve durability.

Foam underlays (the cushioning carpet backing) come in a range of thicknesses – 7mm, 10mm or 11mm. It’s a good idea to test out how these feel underfoot when you are doing your research or selections. Generally, the thicker the underlay, the softer it is underfoot however, everyone has different preferences so be sure to determine the softness level that you are most comfortable with.

What is solution-dyed carpet?

Most synthetic carpet types are solution-dyed, meaning that the fibres are dyed right throughout as part of the production process. Having the fibres dyed from end to end is beneficial when it comes to retaining colour. Being colourfast, there’s no need to worry about synthetic carpet types losing colour from sunlight that comes from windows or even cleaning.

What carpet styles are available?

There are three different styles of carpet that you could choose from:

  • Multi-level loop - this has a textured finish with loops that are at various heights. There are different designs that create textures or patterns, or alternatively more plain styles to suit the look you are trying to achieve. Multi-level loop carpet is extremely durable.
  • Cut piles – cut pile carpet is manufactured with cut yarn loops to give an upright pile that presents with a more luxurious and formal look. You can choose between either cut pile plush carpet for a soft velvet and formal look or the popular cut pile twist carpets for a luxurious feel and smooth textured finish. A textured finish can present with less shading from vacuuming and traffic. The carpet pile height and pile construction will also change the look and feel.
  • Cut and loop – this style combines cut and looped yarns to create subtle sculptured effects with square or swirl patterns. Level cut and loop pile plus textured cut and loop pile carpet styles both offer a soft and smooth feel. Level cut and loop pile carpet offers lineal patterns, whilst textured cut and loop pile carpet brings patterns with a visual effect.

Colour selection and pattern is purely based on the look you are trying to achieve. Be sure to visit our gallery for inspiration ideas for different areas in the home.

How should carpet be maintained?

Carpet can be easily maintained with a regular vacuuming regime. A weekly vacuum with a good quality vacuum cleaner will prolong the longevity of all carpet types. High traffic areas would benefit from more frequent vacuuming.

Note that vacuuming frequently will only remove surface dirt, so ensure that you incorporate a deep steam clean (for synthetic carpet types) every 1-2 years or dry clean (for wool carpet types) to remove pollutants, dust mites, pet hair and other debris that are usually further trapped below the surface or in between fibres.

You can steam clean your own carpet or hire a professional that uses powerful equipment for a better result.

Spills should be promptly attended to, particularly for wool carpet types. Do take note of the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions as this can vary for different materials and origin of the stain.

You want to make sure that you choose right carpet, and hopefully you are now on your way to knowing more about the types that would suit your home. If you have questions regarding carpet types, be sure to speak with our specialist flooring experts within Studio M who can guide you on all things surrounding carpet for your home. To see how we have incorporated carpet into different areas of the home, be sure to check out our gallery.